Anyone who has kids knows that they vary hugely in character, even siblings in the same environement who are treated the same – we hope! – turn out completely differently. We see that confidence doesn’t come naturally to all yet those who have it achieve more, learn better and are fundamentally happier as a result.
Can all children learn to be confident? I believe they can.
Life for a child is full of up and downs, journeys and paths that are not always certain. A child needs as much confidence as possible as they discover, learn, question and grow through their formative years.
My name is Nadine Shenton and I run Confidence in Kids. During my sessions with children I focus on the following points which I list here and encourage parents to consider:
1 Appreciate their effort no matter if they win or lose –
whilst growing up, the journey is much more important than the result.
2 Encourage practice to build competence which leads to building confidence –
let your child practise whatever they are interested in and don’t put added pressure on them in the process.
3 Let them figure out problems by themselves –
if you do the hard work for them, they will never develop the confidence to work it out on their own.
4 Let them act their age –
they are not your age, they are children, therefore let them act as children. Striving to meet advanced age expectations can reduce confidence.
5 Home life-
What is the home set up? Who does all the talking? What number sibling are they? Parents make many mistakes in the early years, this is normal, do not be hard on yourself, learn from mistakes and move forward.
Are they a leader, a follower or one of the team? Do they like their friends or are they trying very hard to fit in? Are they invited to playdates and do they have time to play or is too much time taken up by homework and other ‘stuff’?
In my sessions, I come to understand each child by listening. I tap into their passions, interests, hobbies and also seek to understand their struggles and hurdles and how these might stop them performing to the best of their ability and lower their self esteem.
Are they stressed for example, under pressure from their home or school environment, anxious, comparing themselves to others or do they constantly hear their parents compare one sibling to another? Not healthy!
Are they hearing messages from a parent that they are ‘shy’ and, as a result, have they come to believe this? It is very easily done and perhaps overlooked by parents but it can have dramatic consequences and lower confidence.
Communication and especially listening is integral to the development of a happy child.
If you would like to know more about how your child can gain confidence, whether for future presentations, interviews or public speaking or simply to see your child smile and blossom … then please see